"When you move you find out how much your friends really like you" ~~ Author unknown
Moving your office is just as frustrating and time-consuming as a household move, perhaps even more so. It is one thing to coordinate a family; it’s quite another challenge to coordinate the small – or not so small – army of employees with different styles and motivations. Plus, most people only manage one office move so it's all new.
What are some ways to make the nightmare of moving less likely to leave you walking around in a cold sweat? Manage the move with less hassle by considering a few important strategies.
Plan Ahead for Improvement
Let’s assume that your new workspace has already been selected, whether by careful planning on your part, or by another party. Now is the time to take stock of what you have, what you need, and what you want. While moving is a pain, it is also a tremendous opportunity to change things for the better.
Start by considering your current space. What is working now that you hope to transfer to the new space? What isn’t working that you’d really like to change? Maybe you love the natural light, but on sunny afternoons the glare from the windows makes it too hard to see your computer. Does your new space have windows and shades?
Here are some things to consider:
- Dimensions and Layout: Does your current furniture fit in the new space, or will you need the expense of all new desks and chairs? Are there ample outlets?
- Interruptions: Are people close to the door constantly interrupted by visitors? Could a digital visitor check-in kiosk, like Greetly, allow your team to be more productive? Can you save money by untethering your receptionist from the lobby area? Are there private spaces for people to really focus on work? A great environment provides enough privacy for people to work individually and uninterrupted, but also common spaces – both formal meeting rooms and informal areas – for people to work together.
- Future Needs: Does your new location give you the flexibility to change things if they aren’t working? Can you get modular modern furniture that can easily be rearranged? Is there room and electricity for adding new technology to the space?
Coordinating the Moving Parts
There are many moving parts to a move, and not just all the furniture, office equipment and files... Change is scary for your people, and they are the most vital parts of your operation. Help them get themselves and their working resources to the right place at the right time.
As soon as a moving timeline is created, it is important to have a meeting with the people involved. People feel much better when they are informed and involved when changes occur. This meeting should include the following agenda items:
- Timeline for the move: When does everything need to be packed up? When will IT set up the computers.
- Expected employee tasks: Some examples might include whether employees are packing everything themselves or by a moving company.
- A list of changes people can expect: Will there be new furniture, new security systems, new co-working solutions, new computers? What needs to happen before the move to make them functional upon arrival?
- Moving budget: If employees need to purchase new items, how much do they have to work with?
- Checklist: Pass out and discuss a checklist to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
- Tips for making it all work: There are lots of little moving tips that can help make the move better for everyone.
Summary: Make the Most of Your Move
When the time comes to move your office, approach it with a positive mindset. Recognize that moving is hard, but that with it comes the opportunity to make positive changes. Acknowledge your people and keep them involved.
Take a deep breath. Pack everything up. Then enjoy the process of creating a space of comfort and efficiency in your new space as you unpack and find a place for everything. Who knows? After you get through the exhausting process, you might find that moving your workspace was the best thing that could have happened.